The Waving Flag: DBMM For The Befuddled – Part 17

Friday 17 July 2009

DBMM For The Befuddled – Part 17

Amongst my late medieval armies I have both Polish and Lithuanian armies.  One of the more interesting options available to both armies is the inclusion of War Wagons (WWg in DBMM speak); irregular and regular variants respectively.

Learning to use these properly has been a voyage of discovery so I thought I’d share some notes to aid the Befuddled.  Before that here’s some 15 mm Hussite War Wagons from the brush of Jason Dawson:

As always this is intended to cover the core of the rules not every nuance.  This means that if you plan on using WWg (X) or (S) be sure to check the rules for their “special talents”:

ME value 2 ME for all expect X which are 0 ME.
Movement 160 paces (8 cm in 15 mm scale).
Terrain Can’t move or deploy in Difficult Going.

Moving As A Single Element
Base PIP cost 2 PIPs for each march or tactical move.
Allowed Straight ahead
Pivot less than 90 degrees.
About face for a minimum of 3 PIPs.
Forbidden Sideways or backwards.

From the above it’s quite clear that irregular war wagons are going to be a nightmare to manoeuvre once irregular ineptness is taken into account.  Not moving full will be bad enough for both types at a minimum of 3 PIPs.

Moving As Part Of A Group
PIP cost +1 (group contains train element).
Allowed Straight ahead.
One wheel up to 90 degrees.
Any number of wheels in column.
Column formation (all types).
Turn 90 from a straight column into a line.
Column expansions but only if WWg moves directly ahead.
Forbidden Column expansions requiring a shift sideways.

The last two items arise because column expansion must be accomplished “as if by single element moves”.

This looks like one of the least consistent parts of DBMM.  A WWg can’t turn 90 degrees as single element but can as part of a group changing formation.  >A WWg can’t move sideways as a single element but can as part of group when forming a column but not as part of a group during column expansion.  This merits a 5 star Befuddlement rating.

Moving Into Contact
Forbidden Any move into contact.
Exceptions WWg (S) contacting fortifications.
WWg (X) contacting “troop elements”.

Distant Combat
Ineligible If marched, fled, routed or wading.
Range 240 paces (12 cm in 15 mm scale).
Shoot from Front or flank edge (not rear) if stationary.
Flank edge if moved this bound.
Factors +4 against all opponents.
-1 if moved this bound.
Special “Can’t recoil” penalty does not apply.

Close Combat
Fighting edges Any - first contacted is front edge.
Factors +4 against all opponents.
-1 if moved this bound.
-1 if in Rough Going.
Special All overlaps (i.e. side edges only) ignored.
“Can’t recoil” penalty does not apply.
Single enemy attacking flank overlapped.
Gradings Superior (S) troops +1 if they lose to WWg.

Combat Outcomes - WWg
Standard No recoil if lost combat.
Destroyed by Art.
Destroyed if doubled.
Special WWg (S) recoil if lost to troops with PF.
WWg (I, O, S) destroyed by El.
WWg (X) destroyed by Ps.

Combat Outcomes – Opponents
Lost Bows Destroyed.
Light Horse Recoil or repulsed.
Others Recoil.
Doubled Cavalry Repulsed.
Psiloi Flee.
Light Horse Spent.
Others Destroyed.

Having finished I have to say I’m surprised at the length and complexity of this guide but then it wouldn’t be DBMM if it were otherwise.

It has taken longer to finalise than I thought it would and I’d like to thank the guys on the DBMM Forum for helping me out with this. You know who you are.

Finally, don’t let this put you off using War Wagons they are a fun troop type to use.

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